What is the Gog and Magog war and when is it supposed to happen? The prophet Ezekiel, whose name means “Strengthened by God” served as a Priest in Jerusalem, and was among the 2nd group of captives taken into Babylon, along with Israel’s King Jehoiachin. Ezekiel had some amazing visions of the Throne of God, that included Cherubim and something that he described as “wheels”. Ezekiel’s visions very closely match the visions of the Apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation. Also like John, Ezekiel prophesied of future “end-time” events, including the valley of Dry Bones, the Ezekiel 38 war, and even the Millennial Temple that will be present during the 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.
Vision that the O.T. Prophet Ezekiel saw…
Ezekiel 1: 4: As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire. 5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings.
And this was their appearance: they had human form. 6 Each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, 9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. 10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a MAN; all four had the face of a LION on the right and the face of a BULL on the left, and all four had the face of an EAGLE. 11 Such were their faces.
Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.
The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire. 14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.
22 Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.
26 Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a THRONE, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
I can’t even imagine having an open vision of the Throne of YHWH! I doubt my legs would be able to hold me up because they would be trembling so badly! Ezekiel wasn’t the only person to have a vision of the Throne of YHWH. The Apostle John saw a similar vision on the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation.
Vision that the N.T. Apostle John saw…..
Revelation 4:5 Out from the THRONE come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.7 The first creature was like a LION, and the second creature like a CALF, and the third creature had a face like that of a MAN, and the fourth creature was like a flying EAGLE. 8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”
Although these visions were hundreds of years apart, one found in the Old Testament and the other found in the New Testament, both Ezekiel and John were describing the very THRONE of YHWH! The faces of the 4 Living Creatures, which we find out later are Cherubim, are actually linked to the four Gospels of Jesus the Messiah, LION, BULL (OX/CALF), MAN, EAGLE. Jesus is the LION of the Tribe of Judah. The face of a LION speaks to Jesus‘ KINGSHIP, and was the emphasis of the Gospel of MATTHEW. The OX (bull/calf) refers to Jesus as SERVANT, and is the emphasis of the Gospel of MARK. The face of the MAN speaks to Jesus‘ HUMANITY, and was emphasized in the Gospel of LUKE. The EAGLE speaks of Jesus‘ DIVINITY (GOD), and was focus of the Gospel of JOHN. These “creatures” are Cherubim, and are seen around the Throne of YHWH. After the Fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, Cherubim with flaming swords were stationed to guard the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24). Two Cherubim were also made out of “hammered gold” and placed on either end of the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18-20). The Ark is the “box” that held the ten commandments and was a foreshadow of the Savior of Mankind, Jesus the Christ. Sitting on top of the Ark was the MERCY SEAT of God. The Ark of the Covenant was made with common Wood overlayed with Solid Gold, representing Jesus’ Humanity and His Divinity.
Like the Apostle John, who wrote the Book of Revelation, the prophet Ezekiel was given visions and prophecy concerning the Last Days of mankind’s self-rule on this earth. Ezekiel received many “End of days” prophesies that have yet to be fulfilled. Ezekiel Chapter 38 is a prophesy about a war between an alliance of nations (Israel’s enemies) and Israel. In this vision, Ezekiel speaks of Israel as a nation who had just been “restored from the sword”, and is living SECURELY in “unwalled” villages. Ezekiel paints this picture of the nation of Israel surviving a war and then achieving a level of peace that would allow them to live securely among their neighbors without worry of invasion or attack. I don’t think this is imminent because many of Israel’s neighbors hate them and want them “wiped off the map” or “driven into the sea”. It is during this time of “peace and safety” that a political leader called “Gog” from the land of “Magog” decides to attack Israel from the far North and bring great destruction to Jerusalem. Gog is not a name, it’s more like an identifier or title. The Bible states that Gog is after the plunder, that YHWH put “hooks in his jaws” causing Gog to desire to attack Israel for the spoil. This is not a religious war, this is about money. The spoil could very well be Israel’s large supply of oil and natural gas that was recently discovered. Could this be the “spoil” spoken of in Ezekiel 38? Seems very possible!
There is an alliance of nations that will come against Israel in the Ezekiel 38 war. These “nations” have their origins as far back as Noah and the flood. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshek and Tiras. Several of the nations involved in the Ezekiel 38 alliance were sons of Japheth. We’ve listed the modern nations associated with the ancient people groups spoken of by the Prophet Ezekiel; however, there is some debate as to where some of these people groups may have settled; therefore, this is a “rough idea” of who will be involved in this alliance. Turkey, Russia, Libya and Iran seem to be the nations most likely to be the main participants.
- Land of Magog (Russia),
- Meshech, Togarmah, Gomer (Turkey), Russia, Georgia
- Tubal (Eastern Turkey)
- Persia (Iran),
- Ethiopia (Ethiopia, Sudan),
- Put (Libya).
- Gomer (Turkey)
- Beth-togarmah (Armenia)
In the last days, this group of nations will go up against Israel to capture the spoil, the plunder. Do we see any of these nations making alliances during this present day? Yes. Iran, Russia, Turkey are all aligning themselves against Israel and the United States, particularly in Syria.
Ezekiel 38 And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. 4 I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5 Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.
8 After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. 10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, 12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’
Israel is restored from the sword, living in “peace and security”
Because Ezekiel 38 describes Israel as “restored from the sword” and living securely without walls (their defenses are down), the timing is not imminent, and yet it seems like it is rapidly approaching. If Israel is restored from the sword at the time of the Gog and Magog war, then it is likely that they will become embroiled in a war (not the war of Gog / Magog) that will end with the signing of some sort of Peace Treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. The treaty will likely also include Israel’s neighbors, thus giving Israel a false sense of security. At the time of the war of Gog and Magog, Israel is living securely, in peace, not concerned about her neighbors. Although Israel is currently very prosperous, she still has to be very alert because she lives in somewhat of a hostile neighborhood, where she still has many enemies surrounding her. However, this seems to be changing as Israel has been recently much more closely aligned with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as they all stand together against the Iranian threat. Although Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both majority Muslim countries, they are Sunni Muslims and Iran is a Shiite Muslim nation. The Shiites and the Sunnis have often warred against each other, just as prophesied in the book of Genesis (every man’s hand will be against his brother). Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have all been very involved in Donald Trump’s Peace Proposal dubbed “The deal of the Century”. We shall see!
When will the Gog/Magog war take place?
Many scholars believe that this war will take place either before Daniel’s 70th “week” begins (aka “seven year Tribulation), or towards the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. The war of Gog of Magog will most likely happen either just before Daniel’s 70th week, or even more likely, early into Daniel’s 70th week (first 3.5 years). It won’t happen at the end of Daniel’s 70th week because the final 3.5 years known as “Great Tribulation” is the reign of the antichrist, who is going to wreak great havoc against all Jewish people and against any remaining Christians who have not been taken in the Rapture. The Jewish people will NOT be living in peace and security, even a false sense of security in the final 3.5 years.
Ezekiel 39 seems to confirm this by detailing the fate of the political leader “Gog”, of his troops and allies, and of his land of “Magog”. YHWH is going to “judge” Gog, on the mountains of Israel, where he will “fall” (die), along with all of his troops and allies. The land of Magog will be burnt with fire (nuclear?). Then, YHWH says that Israel will take the weapons of those who came against them and burn them for fuel for seven years! This seven year period is interesting, and could be pointing to Daniel’s 70th week, which IS a period of seven years! This seems to indicate that the war of Gog of Magog likely occurs early in the seven year Tribulation period.
Ezekiel 39 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. 4 You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. 5 You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord God. 6 “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the Lord.
9: “Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for SEVEN YEARS they will make fires of them. 10 They will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them,” declares the Lord God.
In the Gog/Magog war, Gog’s troops and allies are going to come against Israel to seize the “plunder”, which is likely gas and oil; however, the very evil that they plan against Israel will come back on their own heads. Those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed. Gog is going to come against Israel to seize the plunder, but YHWH is going to turn this upside down, and Israel will defeat Gog and his troops and seize the plunder of those who plundered them. YHWH is so perfect in His Divine Judgement. He has a way of causing whatever evil is planned against His people to come back in the same manner on the heads of the evil doers. For instance, in the book of Esther, the evil Haman planned to hang Mordecai from the gallows. Haman’s treachery was discovered and he was hanged on the very gallows that he had built to hang Mordecai. This is YHWH’s Divine Justice.
1 Kings 2:44: The king also said, “You know in your heart all the evil that you did to my father David. Therefore the LORD will bring your evil back upon your head.
Esther 7:10: So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the fury of the king subsided.
Psalm 7:15: He has dug a hole and hollowed it out; he has fallen into a pit of his own making. The trouble they make for others backfires on them. The violence they plan falls on their own heads.
Psalm 10:2: In pride the wicked pursue the needy; let them be caught in the schemes they devise.